At Connect Now on Thursday, Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker advised agents not to hit the brakes during the holidays. “This is the time to get going. You need to start thinking about the new year.”

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Many real estate agents see the holidays as a time to slow down as the market slows too.

However, Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker said now is not the time to slow down.

“Slowing down at this time of year is the wrong strategy,” Rey told Katie Kossev, of The Kossev Group, during a Connect Now panel on Thursday.

Joyce Rey | Coldwell Banker

“That’s one of my pet peeves,” Rey said. “This is the time to get going. You need to start thinking about the new year.”

Agents have endless opportunities to generate new business over the holiday season, Rey said, including sending gifts, cards, emails or hosting holiday parties which Rey does for family, friends and clients every year.

“If someone fell off the list, they’d call me and say, ‘Where’s my invitation?’ ” she told Kossev.

In 2010, Rey showed a $75 million listing on Christmas Eve, sold the property to that buyer and it ended up being the year’s priciest sale in the country, she said.

Servicing clients who are active over the holiday season can pay off in a big way, Rey explained. If someone buys or sells over the holidays, it often means they’re an international buyer and took the time to travel over the holidays and shop for a property, or they’re serious buyers who are taking time out of their own vacations to buy homes.

“These are the buyers you want,” she noted.

After decades of building up her sphere of influence, Rey doesn’t have to work quite so hard to generate new clients and business, but she said she still has to work to maintain those relationships.

“No matter how much repeat business you have, you need to be on that phone reconnecting with clients,” Rey said. “It’s every little thing you do that brings business.”

Rey attributes her success to being completely passionate about her work and dedicating herself to it every single day.

“Frankly, it’s 24/7,” Rey told Kossev. “It’s really having a passion for the business, enjoying it and not thinking about it as work. But unless you’re really committed to your business and you really love it and you can work seven days a week; that’s what it takes.”

As an extension of that mentality, Rey said she also views her real estate team, The Joyce Rey Team, as her family.

“It’s something more than a business,” she said.

When she sees newer agents fail, Rey said it’s typically because they’re only thinking about the profits they stand to make from being real estate agents instead of focusing on their clients’ best interests.

Katie Kossev | The Kossev Group

As the market shifts into more balanced territory, Rey advised that agents try to bring on more buyer clients.

“I think most agents automatically wanted to focus on listing, because that way they have an advertisement and a source to bring in business like open houses, etc.,” she said. “There are some agents that don’t even want buyers, and I never understood that because, to me, part of the excitement of the business is matching a buyer to the house.”

She added, agents also need to come up with more innovative strategies to help their clients now like buying points down on mortgage rates and teaching sellers the importance of pricing competitively in today’s market.

Extending everyday kindnesses to others and getting involved in her community also have helped Rey organically grow her business. Once, Rey took a friend out to lunch and started talking about her involvement in UNICEF (she’s co-chair of the Southern California branch), and her friend really took it to heart.

“I happened to talk about UNICEF and what we’ve been doing in Ukraine, and now over in Africa, we’re facing a famine,” Rey said. “Most people don’t even know that in Africa, what’s going to happen there is a complete disaster because of the food coming out of Ukraine — there’s none coming, there are no grains. Anyways, I started talking about that, and the next thing I know I got a phone call from her, and she said, ‘I’m sending you a $20,000 check.’ So I told every [UNICEF] board member, take a friend out to dinner, talk about UNICEF! And that works for real estate too.”

She elaborated that talking to others about your passions will help naturally generate business and ideas.

“I think you show gratitude in such a lovely way, and your energy brings positivity back in your life through your business and your success has hinged on that,” Kossev said.

Rey’s parting words at the end of the panel to other agents were “stay positive.” Rey admitted that as a young agent, she was sometimes reduced to tears when she lost a listing out to another agent.

“It’s a difficult business,” Rey said. “So you can’t take things personally of course, and you have to be able to accept rejection and disappointments. But if you work really hard and do the right thing, you’re bound to meet with success. And the successes will far outweigh the disappointments.”

Get Inman’s Luxury Lens Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly deep dive into the biggest news in the world of high-end real estate delivered every Friday. Click here to subscribe.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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